2015 Volkswagen Golf R

Pros: Invigorating all-wheel-drive performance with surprisingly comfortable ride; impressively refined, luxury-grade interior trimmings; practicality of four-door hatchback body style

Cons: Steep sticker price puts Golf R in competition with plenty of other compelling performance cars; 2-door hatchback body style not available; occasional lag from automated manual transmission

CG Says: The reintroduced-for-2015 Volkswagen Golf R is the performance king of VW’s compact hatchback lineup. Based on the platform of the redesigned 2015 Golf platform, the Golf R boasts a standard 292-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder paired with a 6-speed automated manual transmission and all-wheel drive. Though other Golf (including the sporty Golf GTI) are available as 2-door hatchbacks, the Golf R comes only as a 4-door hatchback. Available features include a navigation system, upgraded stereo system, front and rear park assist, 19-inch wheels in place of 18s, and a driver-selectable DCC (Dynamic Chassis Control) adaptive damping suspension. With its standard all-wheel-drive, high-end cabin trim, and impressive acceleration and handling, the Golf R stands far above most compact hatchbacks—even the performance-oriented ones. Trouble is, it also stands far above them in price as well. The Golf R starts at a sobering $36K, and it’s easy to push one past the $40K mark with options. That’s a lot of money for a VW hatchback, but the Golf R nonetheless offers a compelling mix of performance, luxury, and practicality that’s hard to match elsewhere.

The Facts
Class Sporty/Performance Car
Body Style(s) 4-door hatchback
Passenger Count 5
Drive Wheels all-wheel drive
Manufacturer Volkswagen
Nation of Manufacture Germany
Base Prices Base: $36,595

Base Engine
turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder
Std. Transmission
6-speed automated manual
Avail. Transmission
EPA City Range (mpg)
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)

2015 Volkswagen Golf R